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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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"Japan's most recognizable contribution to the 20th century"...

A Uniquely Japanese Invention

Instant noodles are nothing new in Asia. They were commercially introduced to the world in Japan in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, now chairman of conglomerate Nissin Foods.

Inspired by the shelf life of Japanese tempura, or deep-fried food, Ando invented a production line that included a special one-and-a-half-minute quick-frying process. This was used to produce noodles that could be stored for six months at room temperature. Preparing a meal was a snap: Place the dehydrated noodles in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and add a flavour packet. At the time, instant noodles were seen as an easy-to-make food to feed Japan's post-war masses. Each instant-noodle package packs about 450 calories, about a quarter to a fifth of a person's daily calorific needs. (Nutritionally, however, instant noodles may fall short: They tend to be low in vitamins and minerals and high in sodium and fat.)

They weren't cheap. Instant noodles took a while to catch on because they were considered expensive by the prices of the time. Now, according to a survey by the Fuji Research Institute, instant noodles rank as one of Japan's most recognizable contributions to the 20th century, alongside karaoke, Pokemon and the Walkman.

=> http://www.feer.com/articles/2003/0301_09/p043money.html

Nissin Food Products

=> http://www.japanreference.com/cgi-bin/jump.cgi?ID=556

Getting terribly hungry... :)
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I also love instant yakisoba. Hm, I wonder why I'm always hungry... :)

japanese instant noodles aren't cheap, & i wonder why...
i've seen other cheaper oriental instant noodles... for instance, instant noodles from hong kong or taiwan... most of them cheaper than a proper meal...
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Unfortunately, that applies to all things imported from Japan. Very often products from China, Korea or Thailand are much cheaper, so if you're not a "culinary traditionalist" you could also resort to Korean noodles for your ramen. Btw, kimuchi ramen are excellent!
I have a cup of Koka's Instant Noodles lying around the kitchen. A few months ago I tried it out, out of curiosity and I was positively suprised. At the time I hadn't any cheap restaurants around my place of work so these cups were a life saver, not to mention, a wallet saver.

Oh, Koka's Instant noodles are from Singapore.
I love instant noodles. I eat them all the time when i'm too lazy to cook anything.-. :p
Check out this manufacturer association's site, very informative!

Ah, this is very interesting. I especially like the "Secret Laboratory" section...
The poorer people here live on instant noodles. All different brands take up the whole isle in the supermarket.
Instant noodles were a hit in America for basically my whole life. But then I come to Japan and find out that they have so many different kinds here. Some of the instant noodles here are very delicious as well. Contrary to the cheap but repeptitive reputation they have in the US.

Some topping ideas besides "stanard" roast pork slices, naruto, memma and nori, with spinach or bean sprout:

roasted kamaboko fish cake slices

salted plum and perilla leaves

egg and grated daikon radish

Manila clams

Real ramen is still much better than instant ones.
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